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Genus Tecticornia Family Chenopodiaceae

Synonyms: Halosarcia APNI*

Description: Erect or spreading small annual or perennial herbs or shrubs.

Leaves opposite, succulent or reduced to scarious lobes.

Inflorescence terminal or lateral, spike-like, with opposite pairs of (1-)3(-7)-flowered cymulesin the axils of bracts or distributed along the vegetative stems. Flowers sessile, bisexual or occasionally femail, andromonoecious (bisexual central floret with male lateral florets) or the plant dioecious; perianth lobes 2, with or without 1 abaxial; stamen 1; ovary 2(-3)-lobed.

Seed white, gold, brown or black, with or without a beak; orientation horizontal, vertical or rotated laterally; embyro straight or curved; perisperm abundant, generally lateral.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 33 species. Australia: 33 species, all endemic except T. australasica and two subspecies of T. indica.

Usually in saline areas, either arid or coastal.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs (1990); edited KL Wilson (Feb 2011)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW vol 1 (1990); KA Shepherd & PG Wilson (2007)

 Key to the species 
1All 3 flowers of triad bisexual or female2
Lateral flowers of triad male, central bisexual (seeds only in central flower)8
2Seeds smooth and glossy all over; articles with Kranz (C4) anatomy or non-Kranz (C3) anatomy3
Seeds variously tuberculate or ribbed around the edge, smooth or ornamented on the sides; articles with non-Kranz (C3) anatomy
                       Back to 1
4
3Margins of leaf lobes finely toothed or finely ciliate (rarely entire); articles with Kranz (C4) anatomy; perianth pithy in fruitTecticornia indica
Margins of leaf lobes entire; articles with non-Kranz (C3) anatomy; perianth thin and brittle in fruit
                       Back to 2
Tecticornia pruinosa
4Seeds with deep concentric ridges or colliculate all over5
Seeds ribbed, tuberculate or colliculate around the margins, the sides mostly smooth
                       Back to 2
6
5Seeds brown to reddish brown to black, concentrically colliculate all overTecticornia pergranulata
Seeds pale fawn to cream, deeply concentrically ribbed all over, the tips of the rib cells sometimes free, forming curved to hooked hairs
                       Back to 4
Tecticornia pterygosperma
6Seeds pale brown with tuberculate ribs around the marginsTecticornia halocnemoides
Seeds reddish brown, colliculate (± ribbed) around the margins
                       Back to 4
7
7Branches and spikes succulent and swollen; projecting or undulate in outlineTecticornia pluriflora
Branches very slender (not swollen); smooth in outline (as in Casuarinaceae)
                       Back to 6
Tecticornia lylei
8Fleshy stems and leaves angular, robust, 3–6 mm wide; leaf lobes prominent, fleshy, spreading; embryo annularTecticornia triandra
Fleshy stems and leaves angular, more or less slender, 2–4 mm wide; leaf lobes membranous, not obvious, appressed or spreading; embryo more or less straight, or curved at one end
                       Back to 1
9
9Coastal species; style hard and protruding in fruitTecticornia arbuscula
Inland species; style not protruding in fruit
                       Back to 8
10
10Flowers axillary, scattered throughout vegetative axesTecticornia medullosa
Flowers in spike-like terminal inflorescences
                       Back to 9
11
11Spikes with opposite bracts free or nearly so; seed 1.5 mm long, embryo slightly curvedTecticornia disarticulata
Spikes with opposite bracts fused; seed 2.5–3 mm long, embryo straight
                       Back to 10
Tecticornia tenuis

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